This Too Shall Pass

Virgin Island Sunrise

This too shall pass,” is something my grandma used to say. It’s a reminder that when times are tough (or conversely, insanely good) that they are just temporary.

Sometimes life deals us a terrible blow. Other times you realize that you have to cut your losses and move on.

It is truly in the worst of times that we come to appreciate, not only the great fruit life offers, but also the subtleties of normalcy; the simple leisurely coffee; an hour of play time with your child; a fun day at work when it all goes right.

Many of you know I was flooded last week. Hardly a unique situation on the East Coast. There were fires in Texas, too. And of course many of us lost a friend or well liked social media acquaintance in Trey Pennington.

You have to get up and keep going through these times.

This is not a tough guy goad to muscle through it. Pain is and should be felt during such moments. You’re not supposed to be OK. This kind of pain produces appreciation for joy, in that most desperate way, repealing innocence and in its place leaving the eyes and scars of experience.

It really sucks dealing with the flood, and living in temporary housing while my house gets fixed up. Watching my family grapple with it, too, is really hard. It is infuriating to listen to inept Fairfax County officials shirk responsibility for an over-taxed, construction silt-laden Cameron Run that has produced two hundred year floods in five years. There is the insurance dodge ball game over tens of thousands of dollars in damages. And it is so hard watching an entire blue collar neighborhood suffer through this. Again.

Easing the pain are the friends who stand by you. You find your real friends in such times. They offer you housing, or check in and see how you are doing. Perhaps they drive by and pitch in a hand removing valuables turned junk. You know who you are. Thank you.

But have no doubt, this too shall pass. Life will change, it always does. And it makes you truly appreciate the good and the simple.

Back up, back to it, in pain or with joy, embrace the moment and move forward. This too shall pass. The sun will rise again.

House Flooded (and the Fairfax County Cops Just Watched)

Cameron Run jumped its banks in Alexandria, Virginia this evening. A surge of water flooded the street immediately after filming this video. We escaped with water lapping at our tires.

The area was already saturated by Hurricane Irene, and non-stop rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee proved to be too much for Cameron Run. Fairfax County Emergency Government failed to clear the neighborhood or warn people to move their cars despite prior incidents with the Run. While the Fairfax County Government said in public statements that they evacuated the neighborhood, the police literally sat in parked cars and watched the waters rise.

This was the scene of the flood of 2006, dubbed a 100 year flood by Fairfax County government and Virginia DoT, who both shunned responsibility for that event. That flood displaced 150 homes temporarily and caused millions of dollars of damages.

So, right now we are out of a home. We’ll be living in a hotel this weekend, and will be assessing the damage to determine what to do next.

I think both Caitlin and I feel two 100 year floods in five years is a bit much, and are likely to take this opportunity to wish the Huntington neighborhood fair tidings as we move elsewhere. Of course, we are a bit sore, too, right now, but we have to think about our daughter’s welfare, too.

Last time we sustained $50,000 worth of uninsured damages to our house. This time we have much more robust flood insurance, thank goodness. A rare ask to wish us well as we figure this out.

And a final word to the media who reported Fairfax County Government’s evacuation claims. Check your facts.

Photos and Stories from the Flood – September, 10

Below find photos from the flood clean-up that began yesterday.